While flipping through the sport channels I've caught coverage of the Australian Open which prompted me to update this blog with a recent painting of an Australian Shepherd. I've recently learned that the "Aussie" did not originate from Australia but from the American west.
Above is my typical setup. 17" monitor lap top to my left. I really enjoy painting from a monitor rather than a photo print because I can zoom in and out. I have a 5000 degree kelvin cfl bulb in a flood light above. Once I begin to paint I'll clamp my palette to the adjustable tray on the easel so my paint on the palette will be in the same light as the canvas.
A close up of the charcoal drawing. Using a HB General's charcoal pencil I lightly indicate a few measurements. I use a darker 2B charcoal pencil to develop the envelope and then switch to a darker and softer 4B to refine and strengthen shapes. Still using straightline construction. The patio stone is very helpful in checking placement of the dog. If I draw these angles (grout lines) accurately I'll be able to see and assess the accuracy of my work on the dog. This will be enough drawing.
The painting in progress. I get the face and head about 80% finished and then move outward. I use the cane hanging over the easel as a mahl stick to rest my hand. Often for pet portraits I'll tone my canvas after I've spray fixed the drawing but this time I felt like working off the white. Because of this, the piece of scrap canvas to the right is important. My palette is a middle value brown and color will appear very different on the palette than it does on the white canvas. The wipe off scrap allows me to see the color I've mixed as it will appear on the canvas.
Australian Shepherd oil on linen 16" x 20"